LADIES FOOTBALL: Seagulls prove too strong for Hatters

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FA Cup: Brighton & Hove Albion 7 Luton Town 0

Luton Town ladies were knocked out of the FA Cup after a heavy defeat away at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

The visitors were expecting a tough game against the Seagulls who currently sit first in the Woman’s Premier League as the hosts had several early opportunities to go ahead.

However, they were left frustrated by Town’s defence and keeper Rachel Evans who made some top class saves.

The Hatters couldn’t take advantage of some rare possession when Natasha Fensome found Erica Byron, but the danger was cleared.

Albion took the lead after 28 minutes when Jay Blackie tapped in and doubled their advantage seven minutes later through Sophie Perry.

Hatters did come close to pulling one back as Fensome shot just wide.

With two minutes to go until half time, the Seagulls made it 3-0 thanks to Charlotte Gurr’s finish.

After the break, Brighton’s class shone though as although Evans made another fine stop, Kirsty Barton netted the rebound.

Jess McKay then conceded a penalty, only for Evans to pull off a superb save, although she was soon beaten again by Lisa Fulgence.

Deanna Cooper (72) made it 6-0, while Evans blotted her copybook, sent off for foul and abusive language, and Hollie Oldman competed the scoring.

Hatters manager Nikki Baker said: “I am happy with the overall performance but it is obviously disappointing to concede seven goals.

“Playing against a team at that level you cannot be sloppy or switch off as you will get punished and that was what happened three or four times.

“However the work-rate, discipline and togetherness was excellent and that was what I asked of the girls.

“Sometimes you just have to admit you have been outclassed and that was one of those days. It was a great experience for the girls to play against a side who will probably be competing in the Super League next season.”

Hatters travel to Icknield in the County Cup this weekend.

Luton: Evans, Kosky, Carter, Byrne, McKay, Khan (Henman 45), Jiminez, Pratt, Carroll, Byron, Fensome, Carroll (92).